This is a big issue: If someone wants another ounce of gold, they have to dig it up. And aside from hiding gold, there's no realistic way to make it disappear. Meanwhile, no one will be making any more of it (as Medieval alchemists proved long ago), leaving technological advances and price increases as the only ways to increase the economically viable reserve of gold. Although it is the balance between supply and demand that results in a price for gold, the physical nature of it is what provides its intrinsic value. By contrast, if the U.S. government wants another dollar, it just prints one.
When people buy physical gold, they can store it themselves, have someone store it for them or do a combination of both. Some people keep it in a home safe, storage boxes, or in coin capsules at home. Others store it in a safe deposit box at the bank or other secure location. Safe deposit boxes at the bank are affordable but may offer limited access, based on the hours of the financial institution. The bank does not insure the contents of the box, which means separate insurance should be purchased.
Cash for gold – With the rise in the value of gold due to the financial crisis of 2007–2010, there has been a surge in companies that will buy personal gold in exchange for cash, or sell investments in gold bullion and coins. Several of these have prolific marketing plans and high value spokesmen, such as prior vice presidents. Many of these companies are under investigation for a variety of securities fraud claims, as well as laundering money for terrorist organizations. Also, given that ownership is often not verified, many companies are considered to be receiving stolen property, and multiple laws are under consideration as methods to curtail this.
Though this interview will help you start safely on the road to gold ownership, it is just an overview. If you would like more detailed information, I would recommend my book, The ABCs of Gold Investing: How to Protect and Build Your Wealth With Gold which covers the who, what, when, where, why and how of gold ownership in detail. You can also shortcut the learning curve by contacting our offices and asking to speak with one of our expert client advisors who will be happy to answer your questions and help you get off to a solid start.
Bullion coins appeal to investors who are looking for a physical asset that has stood the test of time as a store of value. Coins minted from precious metals have, of course, been used for thousands of years as a store of wealth and a transactional currency. With paper currencies, however, bullion coins have moved firmly into the realm of investment as opposed to being used simply as currency. In times of financial uncertainty, bullion coins tend to perform well as a safe haven. Even in times of economic stability, bullion coins generally keep their value over time.
A huge amount of investment in gold comes from individuals looking to protect their wealth from such dangers. Gold and other precious metals have been used as forms of currency and as symbols of status in jewellery and other items for thousands of years, testament to their intrinsic value. Precious metals have outlived other forms of currency and it is this timeless ability to maintain a high value that attracts investors who believe that gold is a safe investment.
Basically, this is a misunderstanding of what gold bullion is. The common perception is that rectangular bits of gold ("bars") are the most cost effective, and perhaps the only available, form of gold bullion. The same thinking has it that round bits of gold ("coins") are not really gold bullion. There’s a common misperception that "coins" are limited in supply, expensive, and perhaps, to some extent, collectors' items.
One of the most frequently asked questions is, "What gold bar should I buy?" In addition to the size of the gold bar having an impact on overall price and premium above the fluctuating gold spot price, the gold bar’s mint may affect a gold bullion bar’s pricing slightly. A highly recognizable government gold bar may sell for a few dollars more than a like kind gold bar from a less recognizable privately minted gold bar when you decide to sell your gold bar back to a gold bullion dealer. A gold bullion bar guaranteed and produced by a sovereign national mint such as the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) will typically have a higher premium or slightly higher price when buying, but government guaranteed gold bars typically receive a higher buy back premium when you go to sell your gold bar back to gold dealers or other investors. Similarly, a gold bullion bar from a highly recognizable private gold mint may sell for a slightly higher premium than a smaller less recognizable private gold mint. Live buyback prices for gold bars can be found online on the corresponding product page.
That said, bullion coins usually command a premium over the melt value in the actual marketplace. On newly minted bullion coins, the premium charged over market value can be attributed to the relative liquidity and small size of bullion coins compared to bullion as well as the costs involved in manufacturing and distributing them. In secondary trading, however, additional premiums can develop specific to the coins. This is due to the numismatic value rather than the melt value. Numismatic value refers to the higher value that is commanded due to the relative rarity or particular beauty of a specific edition of a bullion coin. Unlike the melt value, discerning the numismatic value is more art than math.
As alluded to above, investors often make the mistake of buying so-called rare coins. These numismatic or semi-numismatic coins are meant for collectors, speculators, and hobbyists rather than people looking to reliably preserve and build wealth. Rare coin buying is exceedingly risky and often buyers pay inordinately high premiums and do not recoup their value. Rare coins are not really a gold investment… they are more akin to artwork. Some collectors buy coins for pleasure, because of their history or beauty, or because they have excess money to tie up in illiquid assets. Gold coins that are priced close to their actual melt value is a more prudent way to invest in precious metals.
Gold has been used as money for many reasons. It is fungible, with a low spread between the prices to buy and sell. Gold is also easily transportable, as it has a high value to weight ratio, compared to other commodities, such as silver. Gold can be re-coined, divided into smaller units, or re-melted into larger units such as gold bars, without destroying its metal value. The density of gold is higher than most other metals, making it difficult to pass counterfeits. Additionally, gold is extremely unreactive, hence it does not tarnish or corrode over time.
The Mexican Mint issues the official gold bullion for the nation of Mexico. Backed by the federal government and Banco de Mexico, the nation’s central bank, the Mexican Gold Libertad coin debuted in 1981 and has been available annually since 1991. The coin series includes 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, and 1/20 oz options. The Gold Libertads feature the following designs:
Michael Kosares has nearly 40 years experience in the gold business and is the founder of USAGOLD. He is the author of The ABCs of Gold Investing: How to Protect and Build Your Wealth With Gold as well as numerous magazine and internet articles. He is frequently interviewed in the financial press. He is well-known for his ongoing commentary on the gold market and its economic, political and financial underpinnings.
America the Beautiful Silver Coins: Offered by the United States Mint, the America the Beautiful collection debuted in 2010. It includes a total of 56 designs to represent each of the 50 US states, five overseas territories of the US, and the federal district of Washington DC. Five new designs are issued each year and discontinued once each release year is complete. The coins contain 5 Troy oz of .999 pure silver.